This is a segment of a loop ride starting either at Hwy 26 Gov't Camp or Hwy 35 Hood River. Starting at the junction of Hwy 35 and Hwy 26 head South on Hwy 26 approximately 13.8 miles where you will see a left exit for Hwy 216 Warm Springs Hwy-Wapinita to HWY 197 Maupin/Bend. At intersection of 26 & 197 you can head South to Maupin or North to The Dalles and I-84.
This cut-across highway between Hwy 26 and Hwy 97, is an easy ride on a quiet pristine double-lane road. It starts in a thick conifer forest and as one heads east it transitions to a pine forest then to the juniper and sage of the high-desert plateau.
A beautiful, pristine highway with little traffic. Fairly straight with some sweeping curves. Do watch out for wildlife crossing the road.
There is nothing but forests and some farms on this route. Once you get to Hwy 197 you can go to Maupin which is the along the Deschutes river and the starting point for white water rafting and fishing. There are a couple of really good resturants, general store and gas station. If you head North on 197 your first stop is Tygh Valley. There is a resturant/tavern on the left hand side just past the Balach Hotel. It's a red building and I can't remember the name, the locals go there. It has great home-made fries and burgers. It's nice and cool after a hot ride. Relaxing. The service is friendly and helpful. There are plans to open a gas station in Tygh valley, it wasn't open yet when we last went through in June 2015. Otherwise your fuel options are back in Maupin or 40 miles North in The Dalles.
This is nice, quiet route to other loops which seems to be not well-known for Portland riders. Get's you off 26 and into the real parts of Oregon where people wave, fuel stops take ten miuntes longer because people want to vist. As posted, the Deschutes River is right at Maupin. Cruise North on the river access road, just across the river, down to Sherar's Falls. Be sure and stop at the photo pullouts at the Class IIII rapids for some great entertainment. From Sherar's Falls head west back to Tygh Valley. A little further north is Dufur and the back road to Hwy 35 with really different views of Mt. Hood than what we have come to expect.